In Senegal, Ousmane Sonko, the candidate of all frustrations

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In Senegal, Ousmane Sonko, the candidate of all frustrations
  • The World Africa
    • Senegal

    Opponents of President Macky Sall hope to win a majority in the legislative elections scheduled for Sunday 31 July.

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    From the window of his office, Ahmed Aïdara greedily points to the brand new building that i face. “It’s the new town hall, which should be inaugurated in a month. Aliou Sall, the president’s little brother, despite all the support he has received, will not have had time to take advantage of it”

    , laughs the new city councilor of Guédiawaye, a dormitory suburb of Dakar, where nearly 400,000 inhabitants are now crammed.

    Journalist hitherto known for his caustic press reviews for Senegalese power, Ahmed Aïdara, 44, expresses himself with the confidence of those who feel carried by a victorious dynamic. After having snatched the town hall from the younger brother of Macky Sall in January, he is sure that, on Sunday July 31, the voters will offer him a seat in the National Assembly and allow the main opposition coalition, Yewwi Askan Wi (YAW, “liberate the people”), of which he is the head of the list on the spot, to impose a cohabitation on the power in place. “Of course we will have the majority! Between the floods, the high cost of living, the corruption scandals, which are never judged, and the injustices of which we are victims, the context is not favorable to the regime “, he said in his hoarse voice. In June, the parliamentary candidate was imprisoned for ten days for taking part in an unauthorized demonstration and disturbing public order, while he said he was walking to his office.

    Read also: In Senegal, the political stalemate is accentuated before the legislative elections

    Above all, he thinks, like almost all Senegalese, these legislative elections will be a repeat of the February 2024 presidential election on which the Head of State maintains the greatest mystery as to his intentions. Will he seek a third term or not, contrary to the spirit of the Constitution, at the risk of provoking a huge movement of anger in a country attached to its democratic achievements? The answer largely depends on the results of Sunday’s vote.

    “Real Phenomenon”

    For now, only one declared candidate seems able to prevent this supposed ambition. After justice successively cut the wings of Karim Wade, the son of Macky Sall’s predecessor, sentenced in 2015 to six years in prison for “illicit enrichment” and now in exile in Qatar, then those of the former mayor of Dakar, Khalifa Sall, in 2018, sentenced to five years in prison for “forgery and use of forgery” and “fraud involving public funds”, the Senegalese opposition has found a new champion in the person of Ousmane Sonko.

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